In my desk drawer at work, there’s always a Bounce Ball or two rolling around, ready for emergencies. A quick hit of energy when I’m running between meetings and a convenient source of protein when I’ve returned from a workout. Most of my health-conscious friends are familiar with Bounce Balls. ‘What’s your favourite flavour?’ is an easy icebreaker when meeting new faces in the industry. Mine? Cocoa Mint Protein Bomb for a healthy alternative to chocolate, or Almond Protein Hit when I’m feeling more virtuous.
But it wasn’t until a Nike NTC Week event a few weeks ago that I learned how easy it is to make similar homemade protein balls using superfood and protein powders mixed with healthy fats like coconut oil and nut butters to bind. Since then I’ve been experimenting with different ingredients, taking inspiration from my local organic market As Nature Intended, to mix up batches of healthy protein balls one week at a time. As long as you get the right proportion of dry ingredients to sticky, binding ones, you can’t really go wrong.
So far, this recipe is my favourite. I love the feel-good factor that comes from even the smallest amount of antioxidant-packed matcha green tea, and the sprouted buckwheat groats and goji berries add a really satisfying crunch and chew respectively. Follow the steps below, then scroll down for more information about each ingredients’ health-enhancing powers. I’ve also included a few ingredient swaps to show you how simple it is to personalise your protein balls for the flavours you love and the health benefits you desire.
Matcha & Goji Crunchy Protein Balls
Prep time: 10min
2 tbsp hemp protein (I’ve used That Protein’s baobab infusion)
1 tsp matcha green tea
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 tbsp buckwheat flour
2 tbsp sprouted buckwheat groats
2 tbsp dried goji berries
3 tsp coconut oil
3 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp honey
- Mix all the dry ingredients (the first 7) with a fork until the colour is consistent and the groats and berries evenly dispersed.
- Add the coconut oil, almond butter and honey and mix through with a fork. Then use your hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- Shape into small balls (roughly half the size of your palm) and roll in dessicated coconut to cover. Pop the balls in the fridge for 45min, then tuck in! They should keep for up to a week when cooled.
Why you should eat….
Hemp protein – Containing all the essential amino acids, this is the most complete source of protein you can get in plant form. Hemp protein is also dairy and soy free, so it’s a great way for people with allergies or intolerances to repair muscle tissue post-workout.
Or swap with whey protein…
A by-product of cheese production, whey is a dairy-based protein that is rapidly absorbed by muscle tissue. It is great for post-workout recovery.
Or swap with spirulina…
Although spirulina has quite a strong flavour, you may wish to substitute it for some of the hemp or whey protein to add an extra dimension to the finished product. As well as being naturally high in protein, it is packed with B vitamins and antioxidants to help boost and sustain energy levels. Particularly useful after a tough workout or when you begin to feel under the weather.
Matcha green tea – This bright green powder is essentially ground tea leaves, which means none of the antioxidants are lost in the process of brewing. One small serving delivers roughly the benefits of 10 full cups of green tea. And it tastes as virtuous as it sounds – leaving you with a healthy post-snack buzz. (Note: this can be pricey but a little goes a long way!)
Or swap with maca…
Another of nature’s healers, maca helps facilitate changes in the body. From accelerating injury recovery to reducing stress levels and improving workout performance, it’s an all-round nutritional wonder long championed by South Americans. It’s also a great source of carbohydrates, further helping to sustain your energy levels.
Cinnamon – Shown in several studies to stabilise blood sugar and improve insulin activity, cinnamon prevents major energy dips and helps silence your sweet tooth. It’s so potent it’s been used to reduce the risks and effects of diabetes.
Or swap with ginseng…
Another herb frequently cited in association with diabetes treatment, ginseng is an adaptogen that helps the body achieve natural balance. It can also reduce the severity and length of cold symptoms, so it’s a great immunity-booster for winter.
Ginger – Kind to the digestive system, ginger is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that can reduce that bloated feeling.
Or swap with nutmeg…
Another gut-friendly herb, nutmeg is both an anti-inflammatory and a source of fibre to help reduce bloating and discomfort.
Buckwheat – Despite its name, buckwheat has nothing to do with the wheat family. It is actually more closely related to rhubarb and is technically a fruit seed, but as it’s packed with easily digestible protein it’s one of the best foods to eat in replacement of meat. It also has a lot of flavonoids, which help lower cholesterol and keep your heart in great shape through healthy blood flow.
Goji berries – Cancer-causing and cell-destructing free radicals are far less powerful in the presence of antioxidant-rich foods. Goji berries are among the fruits with the highest proportion of antioxidants.
Or swap with mulberries…
As well as having plenty of antioxidants, mulberries are one of the rare berries to contain a high percentage of iron – something typically found in red meat. This can help boost your body’s ability to carry and transport oxygen, so you can exercise more efficiently and work harder for longer.
<img class=" size-full wp-image-815 aligncenter" src="http://fitbritcollective purchase viagra online in usa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Goji-Berries.jpg” alt=”Goji Berries” width=”600″ height=”551″ srcset=”http://fitbritcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Goji-Berries.jpg 600w, http://fitbritcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Goji-Berries-300×276.jpg 300w, http://fitbritcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Goji-Berries-150×138.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px” />
Coconut oil – Rich in healthy fats, coconut oil is great for your body and for your mind. When combined with amino acids and vitamins, it can also boost absorption of the other ingredients – for maximum benefits with every bite.
Nut butters – All the nut butters offer a convenient combination of natural proteins, fats and fibre. Plus they taste amazing and feel like a real treat, reducing the urge to reach for more sugar-laden snacks.
Honey – I’d take a spoonful of honey over refined sugar any day. It is an amazing source of carbohydrates when your body needs slow-release energy most. Thanks to a more complex make-up and higher fibre content than refined sugars, it doesn’t cause the nasty sugar crash you get from too many Percy Pigs.
Which protein brands or recipes to you love best? Get in touch on social or use the comment box below to share your experience. Thanks for reading!